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Our Services

In Home Euthanasia Services: Peaceful Tails offers in-home euthanasia allowing pet owners to say goodbye peacefully in the place their pet finds most comfortable and safe while surrounded by loved ones. This avoids the stress and anxiety of travel to a veterinary hospital. Euthanasia can be a difficult experience for pet owners and our service allows families to grieve in the privacy of their own home.

Quality of Life Assessments: We know euthanasia can be a difficult decision for many families. We offer end-of-life consultations to provide a professional evaluation to help families make this decision. A quality-of-life assessment may include a visit to the home for a physical examination of your pet or a virtual visit via phone call or video call. During this visit, our veterinarian will also speak with your family to objectively assess your pet’s current quality of life and help you make a decision on the next steps to take. Peaceful Tails has a limited capacity for diagnostic testing and as such as we are not meant to replace your relationship with your regular veterinarian. Because of this, our quality-of-life assessments are beneficial for owners who already have a diagnosis from their regular veterinarian.

Hospice Care/ Palliative Care: Hospice care provides pets at the end of their lives with nursing support and pain management. This care focuses on comfort, not a cure. We work to extend a pet’s quality of life and provide the family with the support necessary to do so. We offer hospice/palliative care for patients in Sangamon County on a limited basis.

Location: Peaceful Tails is based in Chatham Illinois. We service Sangamon County, including Springfield, Chatham, Auburn, Buffalo, Cantrall, Curran, Divernon, Loami, Mechanicsburg, New Berlin, Pawnee, Pleasant Plains, Sherman, Rochester, Riverton, Virden, Williamsville.  We are available outside of this area on a limited basis for an additional travel fee. Areas we travel to also include but are not limited to: Athens, Carlinville, Decatur, Elkhart, Forsyth, Girard, Hettick, Jacksonville, Lincoln, Modesto, Mt. Pulaski, Palmyra, Petersburg, Staunton, Taylorville, Waverly.  

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In the news

Dr. Keay was featured on the NPR Illinois 91.9 Community Voices program in January. You can listen to her interview which discusses the work of Peaceful Tails by clicking below:

listen to the Community Voices interview 

Aftercare Choices

Peaceful Tails works with local family-owned crematorium Butler Funeral Home to provide several aftercare options for your beloved pet. With private cremation, your pet will be cremated individually with their cremated remains returned to you either in an elegant wooden container or another urn of your choosing. Communal cremation is available for owners who do not wish to have their pet’s cremated remains returned to them.  For owners who wish to have a traditional pet burial or a cremation burial, we work with Roselawn Pet Cemetery to facilitate the burial of choice for your pet.  We are happy to work with you to find the aftercare option that works best for your family.  

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About

Who We Are

Hours

Current Hours/ Availability

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Fees

The prices listed below are for services performed in Sangamon County, Illinois including Springfield, Chatham, Pleasant Plains, Auburn, New Berlin, Rochester, Sherman, Riverton. If you live in a neighboring county, additional travel fees may apply.

At-home Euthanasia

  • During regular business hours: $275

    • This includes a clay paw print to help memorialize your beloved pet

    • Aggressive pets may require an additional fee depending on size and disposition

  • Nights, weekends, and holidays: additional $50 after hours fee, availability for these appointments is limited.

  • Outside Sangamon County: contact us for pricing based on location.

  • Additional fees for aftercare/cremation (see below for prices). You are also welcome to arrange cremation services on your own if you prefer.

  • You may arrange your own pet burial at home. It is your responsibility to check local laws to determine if this is allowed where you reside.

Private Cremation

Dr. Keay will take your pet into her care after your appointment and handle all cremation arrangements. Your pet will be cremated individually with their individual cremated remains returned to you in a wooden urn.

  • Small Private Cremation (up to 49 pounds) $260

  • Medium Private Cremation (50-74 pounds) $280

  • Large Private Cremation (75-99 pounds) $295

  • Extra Large Private Cremation (100 pounds & up) $320

  • Other urn options available, prices vary from $59 to $312

Communal Cremation

Dr. Keay will take your pet into her care after your appointment and handle all cremation arrangements. Your pet will be cremated with several other pets and their cremated remains will have a dignified disposition at a local, privately-owned location. 

  • Small & Medium Group Cremation (Up to 75 pounds) $150

  • Large Group Cremation (76-99 pounds) $175

  • Extra Large Group Cremation (100 pounds & up) $200

Burial Services

Roselawn Pet Cemetery in Springfield offers pet burial services for both traditional and cremation burial in their beautiful park-like setting. For more information you can contact Roselawn Memorial Park at 217-525-1661 or see roselawninfo.com

Quality of Life Assessment

$175 for 30-60 minutes. Dr. Keay offers a telehealth voice or video consultation or an in-home visit for Quality of Life Assessments.

Palliative Care/Hospice Exam

$250 for a palliative care/hospice visit which includes an assessment, discussion of possible medications and aids to improve quality of life, and follow up discussions.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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  • How do I know if it is time to euthanize my pet?
    We want the best for our pets, and that includes providing a peaceful ending to their lives. The decision to euthanize a pet can be very difficult for a family. If you are having a difficult time deciding if this choice is right for your pet you may wish to speak with your pet’s regular veterinarian who knows your pet’s health concerns. They may be able to provide you with information on your pet’s current quality of life as well as their prognosis or a timeline for their disease progression. You can also schedule a quality of life assessment with Peaceful Tails to help make this decision. Completing the Quality of Life Assessment Worksheet may also help inform your decision by helping you to objectively evaluate your pet’s quality of life.
  • What does the euthanasia process entail?
    We work to make euthanasia as peaceful as possible for pets and their families. We will come to your home and can perform services indoors or out (weather permitting), wherever is most comfortable for you and your pet. You pet can remain in a space they find calming. That could be a bed, a sofa, the kitchen floor, their pet bed, and more. Once your pet is in a comfortable spot, they will be given 1 or 2 injections of medication with a very small needle. In some cases we may also have you give an oral medication prior to our injections. These medications will work together to help your pet to relax and then fall into a deep sleep (lose consciousness). While your pet falls asleep, you can stay and spend time with them, giving treats or comforting and loving them as they relax. Once we are certain your pet is sleeping deeply and unaware of any pain, we will administer the final medication which is an overdose of anesthetic agent. This medication results in an irreversible unconsciousness. Respirations (breathing) and the heart will stop. The doctor will use a stethoscope to confirm your pet’s passing. After your pet has passed, you may spend as much time as you need with your pet.
  • How does an appointment work?
    After contacting our office, we will contact you within 24 hours. We will then discuss the needs of your pet and schedule a time for us to visit your home. After we arrive, we will meet your family and pet. We may discuss what area of your home or yard is the most comfortable for your pet. We will have you sign a consent form and finalize aftercare plans if you have not already done so. Many owners prefer to take care of payment at this time, so that they can focus on their pet for the rest of the appointment. Once your family is ready, we will proceed with the euthanasia procedure. Note: Please realize that our service is not intended for pets who are suffering and need immediate euthanasia. For an urgent euthanasia we encourage you to contact your regular veterinarian’s office or the Animal Emergency Clinic of Springfield (
  • What if I decide to cancel?
    We understand that euthanasia is not a decision taken lightly by your family. In order to serve other pets in needs, we ask that you give 24 hours notice if you need to cancel your appointment. If an appointment is cancelled 2 hours or less in advance, a cancellation fee of $100 will be charged because a cancellation with short notice limits our ability to help other families who may be in need of our services.
  • What types of animals do you care for?
    Peaceful Tails cares primarily for dogs and cats. We will see some exotic pets, please call to discuss whether we will be comfortable with your pet’s species. We do not see large animals such as horses or livestock.
  • Will you contact my regular veterinarian?
    Yes, Peaceful Tails will contact your pet’s regular veterinarian so that they are aware of your pet’s passing.
  • Do I need to be present for the euthanasia?
    No, you do not need to be present for the entirety of the appointment. You will need to be present initially to sign consent forms. If you do not wish to be present for any of the euthanasia appointment, please let us know in advance so that the vet can be prepared in case they need to bring an assistant. Some owners may prefer to be present for the initial portion of the visit when the sedative/anesthetic is given and the pet falls asleep, and may choose to leave before the final euthanasia drug is given. Other owners will want to remain with their pet for the entire euthanasia process. Every owner has a different comfort level and we are here to work with you and your family to find the best option for you.
  • What payment do you accept?
    We currently accept cash, check, and major credit cards.
  • What are your COVID 19 Protocols
    If you or a family member is ill with Covid or Influenza, we will reschedule your appointment at the earliest time possible. If you or a family member would prefer Dr. Keay to wear a mask during your appointment, she is happy to do so you need only make the request. Dr. Keay will always notify a family if she is ill or has had any exposure to Covid or other contagious diseases so each family can assess their risk and make an informed decision.
  • Our Lending Library: books you can borrow at no charge
    Peaceful Tails has available for our clients or anyone in the community who may need them a variety of books for adults and children dealing with grief over the loss of a pet. We lend these books out and when clients are done with the books, we will pick them up from your home. If you prefer to keep the book you have the option to purchase a copy. We provide all our families with young children a copy of the book Dear Brave Friend by Leigh Ann Gerk to keep at no charge. Please let us know if you would like to borrow a book from our library. Books currently in our library for adults include: Going Home: Finding Peace When Pets Die by Jon Katz Losing My Best Friend by Jeannie Wycherley Soar, My Butterfly: The Animal Dying Experience by Gail Pope The Loss of a Pet by Wallace Sife Transcending Loss by Ashley Davis Bush Books currently in our library for children include: For Every Dog an Angel by Christine Davis When A Pet Dies by Fred Rogers (Mr. Rogers) The Rainbow Bridge: A Visit To Pet Paradise by Adrian Raeside The Invisible Leash by Patrice Karst Cat Heaven by Cynthia Rylant

RESOURCES

for pet owners

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Pet Loss Counseling and Support Services

Quality of Life Assessment

Resources for children

Recommended books for children

  • Dog Heaven by Cynthia Rylant

  • Cat Heaven by Cynthia Rylant

  • When a Pet Dies by Fred Rogers

  • The Tenth Good Thing About Barney by Judith Vorst

  • Pet Loss and Children: A Guide For Parents by Mary Rochford Rose

  • Sammy In The Sky by Barbara Walsh

  • Being Brave for Bailey by Corey Gut

  • Dear Brave Friend by Leigh Ann Gerk

  • For Every Dog and Angel by Christine Davis

Recommended books for adults

  • Coping With Sorrow on the Loss of Your Pet by Moira Anderson

  • Going Home: Finding Peace When Pets Die by Jon Katz

  • A Final Act of Caring: Ending the Life of an Animal Friend by Mary and Herb Montgomery

  • Grieving the Death of a Pet by Betty Carmack

  • The Loss of a Pet: A Guide to Coping With the Grieving Process When A Pet Dies by Wallace Sife, PhD

  • I Never Wanted to Say Goodbye: A Collection of Poems by Arlene Klein

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How can I memorialize my pet?

Memorializing your pet is one way to help with grieving their loss. There are many ways to memorialize your pet. Please click through this slideshow to see some ideas.

Digital Paw & Nose Prints

A digital paw or nose print can be made as a JPEG, PDF, PNG or TIFF.  These digital images can then be easily used to create commemorative items such as prints, jewelry, clothing, mugs, tattoos and more.  We can create a digital print with a photo of the paw or nose, as well as from an ink or clay print.  If you would like a digital paw or nose print, let us know prior to your appointment so we can be sure to get a photo to create the print.  If you are not yet a client but would like a digital print, please email us at peacefultailsvet@gmail.com.  Digital prints are available for $10 each. 

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Contact Us

  • You may contact us via text or phone at              217-993-TAIL (8245), at peacefultailsvet@gmail.com, or by submitting the form below. 

  • We will return your email or phone call within 24 hours.

  • PLEASE NOTE: Peaceful Tails End-of-Life Veterinary Care is NOT intended for emergency situations requiring euthanasia. If your pet requires immediate care please contact your family veterinarian or Springfield’s emergency veterinary clinic:

    • Animal Emergency Clinic of Springfield: 217-698-0870/ 1333 Wabash Ave Suite A

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